Sentenced to Deaf

6 05 2011

Deaf Sentence by David Lodge

Is there anything to be said in favour of deafness, wonders Desmond, the narrator of David Lodge’s brilliant novel. To him, it seems an imminent, inevitable “drawn-out introduction to the long silence into which we will all eventually lapse”. But whereas blindness is tragic, deafness, he concedes, is often comic. His journal charts the embarrassments and comedy to which his condition gives rise. In Lodge’s expert hands, the strains of Desmond’s newly acquired role as house husband, the worrying problems of a mildly demented father and the dangerous attentions of an importunate, unscrupulous postgraduate groupie coalesce into a hilarious and moving account of one man’s life under the sentence of deaf.

It is really pretty amusing in places and Lodge does treat the difficult subject of deafness sensitively yet lightly. Outstanding description of the joys of a CentreParcs style holiday experience. Well worth a read.

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